1999 Mercedes-Benz A-Class A-160 Classic Plus 1.6liters from Mexico
Solid, well constructed and safe car, with great handling
Left side stop lights where changed once in this 5 year period.
The first tires P3000 had very bad quality, they got to insecure levels in just 30,000kms, the car had just run out of warranty, but I complained and Pirelli put 1/3, Mercedes payed for another third and I payed one third of the bill of a new set of P6000, which endured more than 70,000kms. I have just change tires, I bought ContiExtremeContact and are going very well.
Right side headlight was changed recently.
Because of a hard shock on a very bad condition road (an enormous pothole), the shock left an underneath protector a little loose and also there was the necessity of changing the rubbers in the engine supports, not "the engine supports", just the rubber pieces, which by the intensity of the hit I though of it as normal.
As I live in Mexico, this car is made in Brazil, with all the Germany made pieces. So there are some differences with the German ones: the ones sold here have engine protectors underneath, which are great for some bad roads. The engine is very peppy, it's got a very good amount of power. The handling is excellent, which one wouldn't guess with such a tall design. Very good suspension, hard, but very good, it is hard because it helps the handling.
The maximal speed is very good and you feel it safe. I have even taken some very hard curves (Mexico has a lot of them) at speeds I wouldn't ever take in a Jetta or a Golf (which have too supple suspensions). The reliability is what you can expect of a very good marque, and security is the expected from Mercedes (ABS, BAS, ASR, ESP). The dealership attention is very good also (but of course that can change between countries). Everything functions properly, it is a solid car, and you can rely on it. Because of our very good experience with the two A-160 we have (one is semiautomatic -and also a very good one- and the other is manual), I am thinking of buying another Mercedes, hopefully a C230 Kompressor this time.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd April, 2004
Update on the review. It has passed one year. The car is now 125,000kms and is as good as new. I don't plan to change it in a long time.
I want to refresh miles review, today is May/28/2007:
The car has now 160,000kms and it is as strong as first day, incredible. I have just send it to the dealer to inspect some points, and if anything had to be changed, because of the time or the kms, like the clutch, or any part of the suspension, and the answer was: "You have nothing to worry about, it functions perfectly", and so it feels.
From the last review to today, the car hasn't failed once, well it hasn't failed ever. It is remarkably well built.
I have seen others reviews and some of them are from people who expected the luxury and finish of higher Class Mercedes. That you won't find in the first A-Class, not at that point, but it is very well finished and most importantly, it is a very durable an reliable car, and it also has simple mechanics in the whole.
My car has just arrived to 190,000kms (a little more than 118,000 miles). Still it is as reliable as always, it accelerates as new, the transmission shifts perfectly, everything works.
A/C is a little slow to get cold, but after some 3 minutes it is quite cold, I will recharge it (it is 10 years old).
I have just done a 1500kms trip; I feel completely confident about this car, is so reliable I wouldn't hesitate to take it to the farthest places, even to take it to the USA or to Canada, instead of renting a car. This car is a joy to have.